Kathleen Digre is a Professor of Neurology and Ophthalmology and Adjunct Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and also Anesthesia at the University of Utah School Of Medicine. After receiving her BA from Augustana College (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) in English and German, she earned a Master's Degree at the University of Arkansas in English literature. She matriculated with a MD from the University of Iowa in 1981, followed by an internship in internal medicine, neurology residency, and neuro-ophthalmology fellowship at the University of Iowa. She joined the University of Utah faculty in 1987 and directed the Neuro-ophthalmology program and clinic at the Moran Eye Center for over 20 years and currently directs the Headache Clinic at the University of Utah.
Dr. Digre recently completed her two year term as the president of the North American Neuro-ophthalmology Society, having served on the board of directors for 9 years. She served as secretary to the American Neurological Association. She now sits on the board of directors for the American Headache Society
She also chaired the steering committee for an OWH funded project, UWIN (Utah Women's Health Information Network) and directed a project on screening for diabetic retinopathy using telemedicine. She is currently directing the grant, Coalition for a Healthier Community for Utah Women and Girls. She directs the Center of Excellence in Women's Health at the University of Utah.
Her research focuses on clinical disorders of the optic disc, increased intracranial pressure (pseudotumor cerebri) and anterior ischemic optic neuropathy. Her book, Practical Viewing of the Optic Disc was published in 2003. Further interests include the study of headache, photophobia, and neuro-ophthalmic disorders in pregnancy. She is the author of over one-hundred peer-reviewed articles, reviews and abstracts, and she lectures in the United States and Internationally.
One of Dr. Digre's passions is teaching. She continues to instruct and mentor fellows in neuro-ophthalmology, graduate students in the College of Health, residents in neurology and ophthalmology, and medical students at the University of Utah. Working with the North American Neuro-ophthalmology Society (NANOS) and the University of Utah's Eccles Health Sciences Library, she helped to develop a virtual library in neuro-ophthalmology — NOVEL — which is available free over the internet to educate students, residents and even patients in neuro-ophthalmologic conditions. It is accessed by over 2.5 million times from over 150 countries each year. She lectures to community groups about headache, and idiopathic intracranial hypertension.
Honors awarded to Dr. Digre include: Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Omega Alpha, Hancher Finkbine Award, Heed Fellowship in Ophthalmology, Residents teaching award, and Fellowship award to the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM). She received the 2004 Gender Equity Award for the University of Utah given by the American Medical Women's Association. Since 1994, she has been listed in “Best Doctors in America”. In 2008 she received both The Distinguished Service Award from the North American Neuro-ophthalmology Society and also the Linda K Amos Distinguished Service to Women Award from the University of Utah. In 2010 she received the Special Services to Libraries Award by the Utah Library Association. In 2012 she and her husband, Michael Varner received the Rosenblatt Award at the University of Utah.
She has two adult daughters. Her hobbies include reading and discussing books, running, skiing, fishing, opera, hiking, and traveling.